Southampton Solent University, Southampton

Project: Southampton Solent University, Southampton

Interior solutions specialist Martek has created a bright and contemporary teaching space at Southampton Solent University as part of a recent refurbishment project.

Established in 2005, Southampton Solent University (SSU) is one of the country’s newest universities, offering state-of-the-art facilities, city-centre location, links with the local community and lively student life.

Taking on the role as main contractor, Martek transformed a run down snooker hall and former department store in the heart of Southampton High Street into a bright and contemporary teaching space, in only 16 weeks. Students from the University are now occupying the new premises, re-launched as The Southampton College of Art, whose spacious workshops, teaching rooms and exhibition space will become the central hub for creative studies at SSU.

Martek undertook the internal demolition and strip out of the existing 18,000sqft premises, followed by the complete interior refurbishment and fit-out. Due to the age and fabrication of the building, extensive repairs were made to the floor, which included pumping in a levelling screed throughout and laying a new quartz resin floor finish. A completely new exposed mechanical and electrical design was installed, along with craning and supporting several ton of mechanical handling plant to the roof.

A mix of new acoustic, fire rated and glazed four-metre walls partitioned the open plan space into six distinctive teaching areas, with additional space created for offices meeting rooms and utility areas. Existing toilet facilities were stripped out and completely refurbished with the creation of three new disabled WCs.

Martek undertook all decorative finishes to the new teaching space, including over boarding and plastering of all walls and the 25 supporting columns. The existing pot and beam concrete ceilings were also sprayed from black to white, and along with the exposed M&E services helped to create a contemporary learning environment for students, lecturers and visitors.

Martek also applied the finishing touches of specialist joinery, including the impressive new reception desk.

William Reed, Senior Project Manager for SSU, said: “Martek had previously renovated the Artisan Café at the University to a very high standard; so with their project co-ordination skills together with their bespoke joinery capabilities, they were the right company to take on such an extensive project. We believe that the formation of the new space bringing all the creative studies under one roof will have a beneficial impact on the output and wellbeing of both students and staff for many years to come.”

Kirsty Carnell, Marketing Manager for Martek, added: “We are extremely proud to have worked with Southampton Solent University in order to restore a disused and neglected space in the heart of Southampton into a useable teaching space in only 16 weeks. The new stylish and contemporary Southampton College of Art is the perfect canvas for lecturers to teach and students to be inspired.”

For more information on the full range of products and services available from Martek, please contact Kirsty Carnell on 01689 808 600 or visit